49ers vs Cowboys Spread, Predictions: Player Props, Game Picks, More
Getty Images. Pictured: Micah Parsons (left) and Christian McCaffrey.
- We have you covered with 49ers vs. Cowboys picks on Sunday night.
- Our betting analysts have made cases for each side of the spread and delivered player props to pick.
- Check out the latest 49ers vs. Cowboys odds and our picks below.
49ers vs Cowboys Odds
|49ers Odds||-3.5 (-114)|
|Cowboys Odds||+3.5 (-106)|
|Moneyline||+172 / -205|
|Time||Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via bet365.|
What a way to finish the NFL Divisional Round. And our staff has scoured the Cowboys vs. 49ers odds board and found its favorite NFL picks.
Two of the NFL's most recognizable franchises face off on Sunday night with a trip to Philadelphia for the NFC Championship Game on the line. It's Dak Prescott against a seventh-round rookie quarterback, whose backed by the NFL's best defense.
Check out our staff's favorite 49ers vs. Cowboys picks and player props below.
49ers vs Cowboys Picks
Case for the Cowboys
Two of our analysts are on the underdog in this game. The line went up at most sportsbooks from +3.5 to +4, so use our NFL odds page to get the latest numbers across the industry.
Stuckey: Maybe I'm not giving enough respect to Brock Purdy, but he's still a rookie quarterback who was selected with the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
I still have to rate the 49ers accordingly. Purdy has thrived given the circumstances, but has also benefited from a very easy schedule of opposing defenses — as have the 49ers for the entirety of the season — and favorable game states.
Dallas' defense will present Purdy's toughest test, especially from a pressure perspective, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few key mistakes from the Iowa State product. He has certainly gotten away with a few throws that should've led to turnovers since taking over as starter.
On the other side of the ball, I loved what I saw from Dak Prescott last week against a healthy Tampa Bay secondary. He finished with 28.7 EPA — the seventh-highest of any quarterback in a playoff game over the past 25 years. Nobody needed a game like that more than Prescott, and I believe he will carry that momentum over into this week against a secondary that has a few exploitable cracks.
Lastly, have we considered that the NFC East was just that good this year? They went 29-16-1 ATS against non-division opponents, which was the best mark — by far — of any division.
Ultimately, I make this spread right around two. That's even after adjusting for home-field advantage and travel for a Cowboys team that will play their fourth straight road game. Therefore, I happily took the four points with the Cowboys. I'd bet anything over three in a game I think likely ends with a field goal margin.
Notable Nugget: Underdogs that won by double digits in the Wild Card Round have gone 24-14 ATS (63.2%) in the Divisional Round over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, over the past 20 years, teams on 10-plus-game winning streaks are 6-8 SU and 1-13 ATS in the Divisional Round or later, failing to cover by over a touchdown per game.
Anthony Dabbundo: NFL side markets are pretty efficient at this point in the year and we know what to expect from the Cowboys. Prescott turnovers could doom them, but the 49ers are the team whose market rating may be overvalued because of their secondary.
In a year where scoring was down, in addition to a decline in quarterback play across the league, perhaps no defense benefitted more than San Francisco. The 49ers didn't play the Eagles, Cowboys, Lions or Vikings in the NFC. Their top expected division rivals — the Rams and Cardinals — had quarterback injuries and terrible offensive seasons.
In the AFC, the 49ers even got to face the Chargers without any of Justin Herbert's receivers. San Francisco's defense is clearly good, but the market is overrating it in my view. And if Purdy has to play from behind, the Cowboys are the first defense that can truly challenge Shanahan's juggernaut.
This is a field goal game and I like Dallas +3.5 or better.
Case for the 49ers
Brandon Anderson wrote earlier this week about how he likes San Francisco here. He took it a step further with his recommended pick for this game.
Brandon Anderson: The Cowboys housed the Buccaneers on Monday night and suddenly everyone's back in, but I can't get too fired up about a team that beat a Tampa Bay squad that didn't bother showing up. Tampa Bay stunk all year and stunk again in the playoffs.
Everyone LOVES the Cowboys this week, but I don't see it. The Cowboys are a collection of stars, but the 49ers are the better team.
Dallas's greatest strength is Micah Parsons and an elite pass rush. Meet Trent Williams, the best offensive lineman in football and an elite pass blocker. The 49ers secondary is beatable, but Dallas has only one established receiver in CeeDee Lamb and struggles when it can't get him going.
On the other side, the Cowboys secondary is banged up and leaking big plays while the 49ers are loaded with offensive weapons and YAC stars.
The 49ers have been a juggernaut hiding in plain sight since trading for Christian McCaffrey. We all got distracted by the switch to a rookie seventh-round quarterback and missed the fact that the 49ers rank top three in both rushing and passing, on both offense and defense, since acquiring McCaffrey. Dallas, meanwhile, has slowly slipped back toward the pack over that same stretch.
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Brock Purdy is an unknown, and this will be his biggest test. He looked shaky in the first half against Seattle in the playoff opener, and San Francisco has been vulnerable when it doesn't dominate the turnover battle. In 14 wins, the Niners have forced 29 turnovers with just six themselves. In four losses, they've turned it over 11 times and forced just three.
Dak Prescott was a turnover machine this season. He led the league in interceptions in 11 1/2 games and the Cowboys had 14 turnovers in seven games heading into the postseason. If Dallas turns it over a few times and Purdy and the Niners don't, this could get ugly.
Like every other road team in the Divisional Round, the trends like the Cowboys. Favorites who have won over 75% of their games are just 15-30 ATS (33%) this round, and they're an abysmal 2-16 ATS (11%) when the opponent has also won at least 70% of its games.
I like the 49ers, but I'd like them better below the key number, and there's no denying the unpredictability in this matchup. Both teams are relatively untested, and this feels like a heavy narrative game.
Dallas has 13 wins, with eight of them being by 12+ points, and 11 of San Francisco's 14 wins are by 13+. Six of the teams' combined nine losses have come by nine or more points. When the Cowboys are good, they're great. When they're not, it's often ugly. The 49ers were similar early in the year.
There's not a great way to bet on "not a close game." You can play 49ers -8.5 +190 and Cowboys -8.5 +440 at multiple books to give an implied -115 on a multiple-score game, but that juice doesn't feel worth the squeeze. If you go with 12 points given the margins above, you can play both sides of 49ers -11.5 +250 and Cowboys -11.5 +800 at an implied +152 for either team to win by 12 or more. That's still not great, but it pays out well if Dallas wins big.
I like the matchup for the 49ers, but don't feel comfortable enough with either side to go too hard on this one. I lean Niners -3.5 and will sprinkle one of those alternate lines for a big San Francisco win and an offseason chock full of Cowboys narratives and Sean Payton rumors.
49ers vs. Cowboys Player Props
Chris Raybon: There’s been a lot of talk from Jerry Jones and others about Dak running more — that’s not why I like this prop.
I'm into it because he started running more about a month and a half ago, but much like the Cowboys' owner, the market hasn’t caught on.
Prescott is averaging 4.0 carries for 15.8 yards per game on the season, but he has drastic splits between his first seven games and his last six:
- First seven games: 2.7 carries, 10.1 rushing yards
- Last six games: 5.5 carries, 22.5 rushing yards
If we dive deeper and take a look at his underlying usage splits, it’s easy to see why he has been more productive on the ground of late:.
- First seven games: 2.2% scramble rate, 1.3 designed runs (excluding kneel-downs)
- Last six games: 5.8% scramble rate, 2.3 designed runs (excluding kneel-downs)
Prescott is now more than two years removed from the gruesome ankle injury he suffered in October of 2020, and regardless of whichever narrative the late-to-the-party team owner would have you believe, it’s clear both Prescott and the coaching staff have been getting more comfortable with him using his legs.
It should also be noted that quarterback rushing stats are very sticky as long as kneel-downs are factored out, so six games is a fairly large sample size in this case.
This bodes well ahead of a matchup with a 49ers defense that allowed 28 rushing yards to Geno Smith in the Wild Card Round and 34 to Jarrett Stidham in Week 17.
Prescott has posted at least 16 rushing yards in five of the past six games and at least 20 yards in four of the past six, with a median of 21.5 over that span. I’m projecting Prescott for 23 rushing yards on Sunday night.
Tony Sartori: There are a couple of reasons why this line is set so low. First is the presence of Deebo Samuel, who returned in Week 18 after an extended injury absence.
However, in the two games since Samuel's return, Aiyuk has recorded at least 59 receiving yards in each contest. Another reason for this low total is the narrative that Brock Purdy’s go-to guy is George Kittle.
In fact, Aiyuk has racked up at least 54 receiving yards in 11 of his last 14 games, many of which took place with Deebo also in the lineup.
Can he keep it going against Dallas?
In his lone career game against the Cowboys, Aiyuk hauled in nine catches for 73 yards and added a touchdown. While Dallas' pass defense has improved since last season, it is still susceptible to giving up big plays, and Aiyuk could torch them.
Ricky Henne: This weekend’s slate of games is chock-full of elite quarterbacks.
So, naturally, one of my favorite props finds me backing … Brock Purdy?
I’m all over Purdy throwing at least two touchdowns against the Cowboys. He’s thrown multiple TDs in seven straight games since taking over as the 49ers’ starting quarterback. Nobody else playing this weekend has thrown multiple touchdowns in more than five straight (Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott).
It won’t be easy against a Dallas defense that Football Outsiders ranks third in pass DVOA (-11.3%). In fact, this is Purdy’s toughest task to date – the best passing defense he’s faced so far is Washington, who ranks 13th in DVOA (1.5%).
That doesn’t scare me one bit, though, thanks to a ridiculous arsenal of weapons at Purdy’s disposal. Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and the rest of San Francisco’s skill players are tremendous with the ball in their hands.
The 49ers averaged 128.9 YAC per game in the regular season, which was the sixth-best mark in the league. As a result, they tied for third in yards per attempt (8.1) and fifth in yards per catch (12.0). Add it all up, and the 49ers’ home run ability is a major reason why they posted the fourth-most passing touchdowns (30) on the year.
Purdy’s thrown at least two touchdowns in every game as a starter, and I expect that to continue. The juice here is more than I’d like, but I’m not letting it deter me. I’m all over this one, though won’t go over 1.5.
49ers vs. Cowboys Anytime Touchdown Scorers
Lamb has blossomed into the player we thought he'd become. He scored 10 TDs this season, including one last week, and four of those scores have come in the past four weeks.
As talented as the Niners defense is, they got dominated by DK Metcalf in the Wild Card Round, allowing 136 yards and two touchdowns. Lamb is a very different player to Metcalf, but with his smooth route running, he should get opportunity here and Dak will, as always, look to him.
Sam Farley: With Deebo Samuel being the main receiving threat on the 49ers and likely taking the attention of Trevon Diggs, I'll look to Brandon Aiyuk, a player who has connected well with Brock Purdy.
Aiyuk didn't score last week, but he dropped one in the end zone and had five targets throughout the game.
Over his past four games he's had 29 targets, so let's follow that volume and back him to take advantage of his matchup.